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tv   News 4 Midday  NBC  April 11, 2012 11:00am-12:00pm EDT

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good morning, everyone and welcome to "news4 midday," i'm barbara harrison, it's wednesday, april 11, 2012. we begin with breaking news out of asia. where a pair of powerful earthquakes struck indonesia. they struck not far from the country of banda aceh province, a region all too familiar to temblors and tsunamis that often follow. news4's richard jordan is live in the news room with more. >> a tsunami watch was lifted this morning, the threat may be over, but many are not taking any chances and staying away. take a look at some video ha was posted on youtube, said to have
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been taken just after the quake. officials say the largest wave near the quake zone was less than three feet high and did not reach tsunami strength. the first 8.6-magnitude earthquake was followed about i a strong 8.2-magnitude aftershock. leading to tsunami warnings throughout the entire indian ocean. including thailand, sri lanka and the indian ocean. banda aceh province is the closest to the epicenter. there people say the earth shook for one to four minutes. residents feared for their lives, the crowd in a panic, the concern over more aftershocks and a tsunami that sent many running for cover in search of higher ground. so far, no reports of serious injuries or damage. power was knocked out by the tremor. the earthquake brings back memories of the 2004 earthquake and tsunami that hit the same area, 230,000 people were killed then. today, indonesia's president sent rescue teams to the hardest-hit areas but so far no
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casualties have been reported. indonesia is vulnerable to seismic activities, a tsunami warning issued after the two earthquakes has now been lifted. barbara? >> richard, thank you very much for that report. a search is on this morning for a man who attacked two women who thought they were apartment hunting. it happened at an abandoned office building in alexandria. news4's tracee wilkins has more on the investigation. >> reporter: hours after this whole thing unfolded, the city of alexandria police department is still camped out in froth of the building where these women were attacked. and it's a good thing. because this morning, a neighbor thought he spotted the suspect nearby. early this morning, our cameras rolled as a man walking his dog with alexandria police, he and some other neighbors saw a suspicious man hanging around the building. where two women were attacked yesterday. because he is is a potential
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witness, we are protecting his identity. >> we saw a guy fitting the description walking down here along the edge of the field. he got to the corner, looked like he saw the police car and turned around and walked away quickly. he came back and was walking out here kind of strangely, looking around. >> the alexandria officer took off running towards eisenhower avenue metro station where the man was. he was handcuffed and placed in a squad car. after about 30 minutes of questioning, police took the man's picture and released him. alexandria police say the man's information has been passed on to detectives. but no warrants have been issued at this time. the incident speaks to how seriously neighbors and police are taking this investigation. and what happened inside this building. >> it's kind of scary that here anywhere, that that would happen, i can't imagine what those women had to go through. >> reporter: police say two women came to this abandoned office building in the 22 hundred block of mill road yesterday, responding to an internet ad for an apartment for
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rent. police say the women were pulled into the building and attacked by a man. the women got away with only minor injuries. by the time the police got to the scene, the attacker was gone. >> it's disappointing and surprising. >> reporter: the building is often used by alexandria police for training. but neighbors say the empty structure is trouble. >> we've complained about, i know a lot of people that it's a vacant building that's been sitting here. it's boarded up and -- it's bound to be occupied. i mean you can't just leave a huge building va can't on our street. someone is going to move in there. something bad is going to happen. >> reporter: alexandria police say they're still looking for their suspect. in alexandria, i'm tracee wilkins, news4. and taking a look outside right now, storm center 4 meteorologist tom kierein joins us with the first forecast for midday. hey, tom. >> what a cold start this morning and it looks like it's going to be even colder tomorrow morning. all as a result of a large upper-level disturbance that is spreading a lot of cloudiness over our region. and as you can see in this
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latest view from space, a lot of clouds covering virginia, maryland, eastern shore has a lot of sunshine, though. farther west and north, there are some sprinkles up in pennsylvania. in fact this morning they had snow just south of pittsburgh into western maryland. and in fact enough snow to cover the ground out near the wisp ski resort out in western maryland. where temperatures right now, all of these areas in blue, the dark blue, are still in the 30s. while in the areas in green, it's near 50 degrees. but still in the 40s just north and west of i-95. and throughout the rest of the afternoon, we will have these clouds in and out. a little bit of sunshine in and out as well. and just a small chance of a sprinkle as temperatures only make it into the low to mid 50s by mid afternoon. that accompanied by a northwest wind, gusting to around 25 miles per hour. i'll show you which areas are going to be affected by the hard freeze we may get tonight. in ten minutes. and in just a few minutes, we'll show you the rest of the week. barbara? >> good, okay. thank you, tom.
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hopefully warmer the rest of the week. and we're going do check in with danella sealock to see how things are moving out on the roads, danella, good morning. >> if you're taking the beltway, things look good. look at this, little river turnpike, taking the inner loop there, this has been a problem all morning long, but not now. you have a great travel speed. you're at about 51 miles per hour. taking 15 minutes to get from i-95, the interchange to the dulles toll road. taking the beltway in montgomery county, nice and clear, a live look at connecticut avenue. inner loop, you're at speed. outer loop, we'll check travel speeds right now. driving at 56 miles per hour, just 10 minutes to get from i-95, to i-270. barbara, back to you. thank you, see you again shortly. and right now, students from the a.c.t. schools are meeting to figure out their education future. the virginia health care system closed last week after 30 years of service. news4's melissa malay is live at westwood college in arlington, she tells us about the meeting under way now.
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>> reporter: there are a lot of upset and angry students here on the fourth floor of the building behind me in arlington this morning. the meeting started at 10:00 a.m., it doesn't wrap up for another hour or so, but everybody inside really hoping to get some answers about their future. inside the u.s. department of education and several other groups, now hoesting this meeting for nearly 100 students, all of those students hoping for more information on how they can finish their degrees. now when the department denied the school's recertification for a federal loan program, the school shut down without warning. some administrators are accused of falsifying records and leaving credit balances unpaid. representatives from several area colleges are on hand today to tell students how and where they can finish out their medical training it appears some students may get refunds for unearned credit hours they've already paid for. they did get that information today. what students inside are saying they want more than anything, is more information from school officials, about how this happened. >> i'm just hoping for some
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answers as to what we can do, where we can go from here. and since this is the first official meeting that anybody has had with us, i'm hoping to get some questions answered today. >> there are a lot of unanswered questions. there are people that we think need to be held accountable and we need some explanations as to why the agencies and 'creditation bureaus that we were counting on to back the college are nowhere to be found. >> reporter: tabitha who you just saw is just weeks away, i should say was weeks away from graduating and is due with a little baby girl at the end of june. so very upsetting for her. now there are a couple more of these meetings scheduled for later today. one here, another one in manassas, so they are expecting additional students to attend. live in arlington, virginia, melissa malay, news4, back to you. we could learn today whether one of this country's most notorious killers will be released from prison. charles manson is up for parole. these are some of the most recent pictures of the man convicted ever killing actress
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sharon tate and six others back in 1969. this is the 12th time manson has been up for parole. he isn't expected to be at today's hearing. the parole board will likely make a decision on his case by this afternoon. and new this morning, an investigation into a fire at an empty building in the northeast d.c. the blaze broke out on the 1800 block of bladensberg road, police had to close down new york avenue between bladensberg road and montana avenue for a couple of hours while firefighters battled the fire. the road is open now, the cause of the fire still under investigation this morning. no reports of injuries. and right now, a loudoun county lawmaker is throwing his hat in the ring, in the race for virginia's attorney general. republican corey stewart is announcing his candidacy at this hour. stewart has been chairman of prince william county's board of supervisors since 2007. he gained recognition in 2008 for championing the county's illegal immigration law, which is one of the toughest in the country.
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the law, however, has been changed over concerns of racial profiling. and today, the kickoff of to nearly a week-long celebration of the 150th anniversary of the end of slavery. in the district of colombia. tuesday, april 16th, marks emancipation day. the day president abraham lincoln granted freedom to the slaves in d.c. today mayor vincent gray, along with local and national civil rights leaders will march through the monument starting at 2:00 this afternoon. there will be lots of events, all week concluding with an emancipation day parade and street festival and fireworks on monday. ten minutes after the hour is the time. coming up next, virginia senator jim webb is on the other site of the world. we'll explain what he's done in myanmar. i was a geek, some kids told him he was worthless, to go hang himself. >> pushed to stop bullying in the district and across the country. we're goin
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secretary of state hillary clinton says russia is thwarting efforts to remove syria's president. speaking at the u.s. naval academy, clinton says russia is helping keep bashar al assad in power. russia is reportedly refusing to support the united nations security council's plan to remove al assad.
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the former ministers of the g-8 countries are expected to meet later today. clinton said the u.s. will try to convince russia to support humanitarian access to the war-torn country. virginia senator jim webb is in myanmar ten days after historic aelections that may bring an end to a half-century of military rule there. senator webb says when he returns to washington he'll talk to other lawmakers and the state department about lifting sanctions on myanmar. >> so that we can find the right way to look at changes in policy that will reward positive actions. that this current government has taken and to continue incentives for future change. >> the party of nobel peace prize laureate, aung san suu kyi, won the recent elections in a landslide vote. fairfax county county residents, your closest metro station may soon be called
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mclean or tyson's corner. may be the names of two stations. metro's board will have the final say on the names late they are year. the other names are greensboro park, reston town center, herndon and innovation. well expect to shell out big bucks when you hit the road. the department of energy predicts that the national average will peak at $4.01 a gallon in may and should sit at $3.95 the rest of the summer. the prices are up 24 cents compared to last year's driving season. drivers in our area routinely pay more than the national average, so drivers will see gas prices around $4 for the foreseeable future. well, sure doesn't seem like summer anywhere around here these days. >> yoe why we're talking about summer driving season. is winter back, tom? >> summer will come eventually. and spring certainly is on spring break, it felt like winter this morning. we were down into the mid and
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upper 30s throughout much of the region. and since then, at least we have warmed back up to around 50 or so. there's a live view from our city camera. it's bouncing around a bit in blustery wind. it looks like spring, look at everything all greening, beautiful scene there on the potomac river and the monuments in the distance. it's now 50, with a mostly cloudy sky at reagan national. northwest wind there, sustained at around 15. but occasionally gusting over 20, to around 25 miles per hour. so it actually feels colder than the 50 degrees. elsewhere, it's still just in the 40s throughout most of virginia and maryland. in montgomery county, mid 40s, it's also in the mid 40s in much of fairfax county county, arlington county in the upper 40s, in the mid 40s in prince george's county, much of southern maryland, northern neck, eastern shore. farther west and north, much of western maryland, highlands of west virginia, shenandoah valley, low to mid 40s. this is april. and then overnight tonight, all of these counties in blue under a freeze watch, which means there is the potential for a
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hard freeze by around dawn tomorrow morning. and at that time, we could have temperatures between 25 and 30 degrees. shenandoah valley, the closer-in counties, into loudoun county, northern fauquier, rappahannock and into northern virginia, a large area may have a hard freeze in the morning. probably down to the low to mid 30s right around the metro area, including montgomery, prince george's, arlington, fairfax, the district and farther south and east, it will bottom out in the upper 30s. as we go through the afternoon, all the areas in green are zones of potential sprinkles, might get a few passing showers coming through. very light ones, it won't help out our ongoing abnormally dry pattern here. not much, anyway. we clear out again tonight, a cold start tomorrow. during the day on thursday, lots of sunshine. and we get into thursday night and friday morning, too, could have another freeze. and then during the day on friday, lots of sun again. but warmer weather for the weekend. so here's how we're looking for the rest of the afternoon.
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mostly cloudy, a small chance of a passing sprinkle. highs only into the mid 50s. and that wind still gusting up to around 25 miles per hour. make it feel colder than that. overnight tonight, we'll have our temperatures by midnight, with a clearing sky, down to the low 40s. winds should diminish a bit. and we'll have it continuing to drop all the way down to near freezing by dawn tomorrow. around the metro area, mid 30s. and then during the afternoon tomorrow, it's the home opener for the nationals. first pitch at 1:05. they take on the reds at nationals park. it ought to be in the upper 50s at start of the game, may hover near 60 through much of the rest of the afternoon. the cold start on friday morning, down near freezing again. but on friday, with lots of sun, we should warm back to the mid 60s during the afternoon. chilly start saturday morning, near 40. saturday afternoon, near 70. so a nice warm-up just in time for the weekend. maybe upper 70s on sunday. and the mild pattern continues into next week.
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>> that's what i'm talking about. >> yeah. >> we're glad to see that coming, thank you a lot, tom. out to the roads we go with danella sealock. danella? >> right now i'm watching road work slow you down on i-66 as you're heading eastbound, a live look at gallows road. you're going to see the left lane taken away as you get closer. you are under speed, really you're hitting the big delays right around nutley. but from fairfax county parkway at 39 miles per hour, 15 minutes to get from fairfax county parkway to the beltway. traveling along route 50, you're at speed as you make your way eastbound. westbound as well, making your way to the beltway, from 301, you're just at 66 miles per hour. barbara, back to you. >> thanks so much. it is 19 minutes after 11:00. coming up on "news4 midday" -- >> my concern, is that you are making someone feel so uncomfortable, they didn't want to be in school. >> controversial movie about school bullies opens this week. we hear from the writer-producer of the film, the head of the
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national education association and a local student for their take on this film. but first, here's a look at what's hot on
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tonight d.c. mayor vincent gray will announce a major plan to stop bullying in the
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district. it's called the anti-bullying action plan. it will include nonprofit organizations, teachers and police. >> i feel kind of nervous going to school. because i like learning, but i have trouble with making friends. >> the controversial movie, "bully" hits the big screen on friday. some students in our area saw an advanced screening. the documentary follows the lives of students who are bullied and shows how it affects their lives and their families. and we have a great panel joining us today to talk about it we have writer-producer of the film, cynthia lowen, corina palolisa, a senior at a high school and the president of the national education association, welcome to all of you. there's a lot of talk about the movie, because there was a time when we weren't sure if kids, who need to see it the most, would be able to see it. let's begin with you, cynthia. this was your, this is your
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film, you're the writer and the producer of the film. tell us about what made you decide to make this movie. >> when director lee hirsch and i set out to start this film in april 2009, we were really sensing a tipping point moment occurring. we were seeing on youtube, kids posting videos about their experience of being bullied. we were seeing parents writing in to news stories on message boards, saying we're struggling with this. we need help. we need a voice on this issue. we're seeing educators writing in, saying i need tools to deal with this problem. it's important, and we really thought that it was time for us to go from i think what had become a point of crisis on bullying, to moving beyond that, to change and to being proactive about preventing bullying. >> corina, have you seen the movie? >> yeah. >> dell me what you think of it? >> i thought it was really moving and i felt really touched and i wanted to help after seeing it. >> how serious do you think the problem is? >> i think it's really serious. a lot of people look past it and they think it doesn't exist, and they don't want to think it exists, but it does.
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>> has the new social media, electronic media made a big difference do you think in the growth of bullying in schools? >> definitely. cyberbullying is definitely a problem. because with the internet, it creates a large spread that anyone can be affected with the internet. >> do you see this aamong stunts at your school? >> i think i see it over everyone. it's so easy to have it happen to you and to anyone else. >> and dennis, what is the n.e.a., what is the education system doing in this country to try to address this issue? >> we've worked on this issue a long time. we started in 1985, but it's hard to get traction and build the awareness. a couple of years ago we started a new program called the bully-free. it starts with me. we've done a lot of training in sessions and schools. i think the movie is going to turn it upside-down and wonderfully so. it brings so much attention to the issue. it makes you so much more aware. and i think when anyone who watches this movie will be
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called to action. >> let's take another look at the movie. >> strangle me. take things from me. sit on me. >> give it to him, hard. >> he's not safe on that bus. >> i've been on that bus. they are just as good as gold. >> cynthia, tell us how you were able to get this unprecedented access to real-life situations? >> absolutely. we presented the film to the sioux city community school district school board and the superintendant. and they gave us access, districtwide, throughout the 2009-2010 school year. they've been doing bullying prevention work in some of their schools for up to a decade. in some of the schools, it was just beginning. in alex's school they were only a year into bullying prevention. i think they felt this was an opportunity to really honestly assess what's going on in our schools. what, where are the, where are the problem areas? where are the problems we need to put more resources. they made a courageous decision to allow us access that i think
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is absolutely unprecedented. and to absolutely stick by the film as it's come out. >> dennis, can you tell us what the n.e.a. is planning to do to further what the film will start? >> well what we want to do is within all of our affiliates, state affiliates and local affiliates all across this country, is encourage them to use this film to begin a discussion. with students, with educators, with parents, with community. >> corina, we're going to end with you. you've lifted the "r" rating, kids your age will be able to see this movie. do you think a lot of them will go to see it? >> i think so, definitely. it's such a good topic and it's so real. nothing fake about it. it's so important right now. i think so. >> i know for all of you, it's, we hope this is a turning point that we will see a whole lot less in the future and we'll continue to measure and have some great results as a result of this. >> thank you so much. thank you all for coming. >> glad to be able to get the conversation going. 11:27 is the time. the movie opens on friday across the country. coming up next, here on "news4
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midday," president barack obama makes a push to raise taxes on the top earners. we'll hear of his latest pitch and a shakeup on the campaign trail, rick santorum is out of the presidential race. what it means for the remaining candidates. and the number of cases of autism in kids is on the rise, we'll talk to our resident doctor, to explain why that's happening and ha can be done about it. plus, it's a little chilly outside for april. tom will let us know when we can see a warm-up, stay with us. [ male announcer ] are you paying more and more for cable
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we can do this. you can do this. we can all do this together. (man) register today for the... and receive $25 off your registration fee. because everyone deserves a lifetime. right now, thousands of people in indonesia are breathing a sigh of relief. there are no signs of major damage caused by two massive earthquakes, which rocked the country early this morning. the quakes triggered tsunami watches for much of the indian ocean. those watches have now been lifted. police in alexandria are looking for a man who attacked two women who thought they were looking for an apartment. the women were lured into an
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empty office building, but were able to escape. neighbors thought they spotted the suspect early this morning. police questioned the man and later released the man that they had found. a former library of congress employee a accusing the library of discriminating against him because he's gay. he claimed his supervisor harassed him for more than a year. he said his boss cited bible passages related to homosexuality. and new this midday, attorney general eric holder says the justice department will take appropriate action in the killing of trayvon martin. but only if the agency finds evidence of federal criminal civil rights crime has been committed. this afternoon, trayvon martin's parents will hold a news conference with al sharpton here in the district of columbia. meanwhile, lawyers for the man who shot martin walked away from his case. george zimmerman was acting as a neighborhood watch volunteer when he shot and killed the
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17-year-old back in february. they say he acted in self-defense. or he says he acted in self-defense. the case sparked protests across the country. zimmerman's former lawyers say they were in daily contact with him until sunday. martin's family attorney says they're worried zimmerman is is a flight risk. but this morning on the "today show," his former lawyers say they don't believe that's the case. >> i don't believe he's a flight risk. he is not in the area. he is in, i can't disclose where he is. but again, like we said before, if you're, if people staking out his house or my office or his parents house or so on -- he's not here. >> trayvon martin's parents' news conference will be held at the convention center at 1:00 this afternoon. look for the latest on news4 and president bush is pressing to pitch for the so-called buffett rule, the rule is named for warren buffett, the billionaire investor, who says he should not pay taxes at a
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lower rate than his secretary. >> if you make more money, more than $1 million a year, not if you've have $1 million, but if you make more than $1 million a year, you should pay at least the same percentage of your income in taxes as middle class families do. if on the other hand you make less than $250,000 a year, like 98% of american families do, your taxes shouldn't go up. that's all there is to it. >> the buffett rule is scheduled for a procedural vote in the senate next week. republicans say the measure would impose a tax increase on job creators and the revenue would make only a tiny dent in the deficit. the president invited millionaires and their assistants to today's remarks. the path of the republican nomination is a little bit clearer for mitt romney now. the main competition, rick santorum, is out of the race. santorum announced that he's suspending his campaign. the former senator won 11
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contests, despite being outspent by romney. santorum says his presidential hopes are dashed, but his fight for his supporters is far from over. >> we're not done fighting. we're going to continue to fight, for those voices, we're going to continue to fight for american who is stood up and gave us that, that air under our wings that allowed us to accomplish things that no politir expected. >> mitt romney issued a statement in which he called santorum an able and worthy competitor. newt gingrich, meanwhile, is vowing to stay in the race until the republican convention. but he's having trouble getting on the ballot for utah's primary. the salt lake "tribune" is reporting that his $500 check to pay for a filing fee bounced. utah's budget director said it's tried contacting gingrich's campaign about the check, but hasn't received an answer.
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gingrich has until next friday to pay the filing fee or his name will not appear on the june 26 ballot. we'll check in again with tom kierein with the latest on our forecast. he's promising us some warmer temperatures later in the week. >> right now it looks like spring, but doesn't feel like it. i took this picture yesterday afternoon in northwest washington. the azaleas are out, out way early. there's a debate about this color. some say salmon, some say fuschia. in storm center 4, we think it's fuschia and white. you get all the subtle hues with azaleas, this one has several different hues, all in one big bunch of them in northwest washington yesterday afternoon. looking just gorgeous. you can see a lot more of those on facebook and twitter. and post your flora photos on facebook and twitter as well so we can all see them. we've got a lot of great spring colors showing up. even though it doesn't feel like spring, it's only in the 40s to around 50 degrees now.
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and later tonight, we may be right down freezing temperatures by dawn. all of these counties in blue could be 25 to 30 degrees around dawn tomorrow morning. all of those areas just west and north of washington, then after we reach highs today in the 50s, we'll clear out tonight with the clouds over us. a small chance of a sprinkle. then the warming trend does come for the weekend. maybe hitting upper 70s by sunday. barbara? >> thank you, tom. and we're going to head off to the roads again, see if people are out there moving around, here's danella sealock. hey, danella. >> you're moving slowly if you're taking i-66 eastbound. had road work taking away left lane. still taking away the left lane as you make your way closer to the beltway. you'll see delays as you head from fairfax county parkway, you're under speed at 41 miles per hour. about 14 minutes to drive from fairfax county turnpike to the beltway. no issues on the outer loop or the inner loop of the belt way at i-49 5 american legion.
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right now breaking news out of largo, maryland. let's take a live picture from our chopper. police are looking for one of two people who they say robbed a bank. another suspect is in custody for the robbery at the m & t bank on campus way south. we have a crew on the way there. going to bring you updates throughout the day. a live picture from chopper 4 of this bank where a suspect was able to apparently rob the bank. they have caught one person, that person is in custody. another person is still being searched for by police. again, more coming up on this, on news4 beginning at 4:00 this afternoon. he's accused of selling more than frozen treats if his ice cream truck. police say one maryland man was also dealing drugs out of that truck. officers arrested alexander hoskins in waldorf. they say they found marijuana and cash in his underwear. police received a tip that hoskins had been selling drugs. they say it appears he had been dealing it for some time before his arrest.
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>> well we wish we got that call just a bit sooner so we could have found more drugs. but what we did find was significant enough to show that he had been dealing it. and for us, you know, we're removing a drug dealer off the streets. >> hoskins is free on bond. and out of a job now. police say his company fired him after he was arrested. prince george's county police charged a man in connection with the death of a 6-year-old. on monday, amare perkins found a loaded gun and accidently shot himself at his home in clinton. police charged 20-year-old raymond brown with reckless endangerment. he lives in the same home as amar'e and brought the gun to the house. investigators aren't sure if brown actually owns the weapon. though. an indiana man is behind bars for trying to sexually blackmail a 14-year-old from prince george's county. richard fink byner is accused of what's called sextortion. coercing teens into sexual activity and recording it for
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blackmail. police say he filmed the 14-year-old teen on an online chat site and threatened to post the video online if the teen didn't record more sexually explicit videos. the boy told his parents, who immediately called police. >> the threat is to make their parents or their teachers or their friends or their coaches or their pastors, make these images available to people close to them. >> the fbi searched finkbeiner's home and found thousands of sexually explicit voes and photos. d.c.'s board of elections says it's investigating claims of voter fraud in last week's primary. an associate of conservative activist, james o'keefe went into a polling place last week, posing as attorney general eric holder and told the volunteer he forgot his i.d., but was still
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allowed to vote. the man never did actually submit a ballot. the board of elections said any evidence of criminal activity will be forwarded to police. well, we could know by this weekend, who has won a hotly contested primary election for an at-large d.c. council seat. d.c. election officials will count more than 2200 absentee ballots of the race between incumbent vincent orange and the challenger biddle on friday. they're challenging how many provisional ballots will be counted. more than 3800 of them were cast on election day. right now, orange leads biddle by just 543 votes. that's a 1.2% lead. there will be an automatic recall if that margin slips below 1%. maryland governor martin o'malley is keeping quiet about whether he will request a special session. the state's general assembly failed to pass a budget package before the end of their 90-day session. because of that, next year's budgets is being balanced with more than $500 million in cuts. they can still be avoided, or
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that can, if a budget is passed before july 1st. o'malley called the failure, the low point of his experience as governor. and maryland is now the first state to ban employers from asking for facebook passwords. just minutes ago, martin o'malley signed a law prohibiting companies from demanding employees' user names and passwords to social networking site. the aclu got involved after a maryland man said the department of public safety asked him for his passwords. coming up, we break down the latest studies on autism with our local psychiatrist in residence here. plus, why you may want to slow down while driving to file your taxes. it could save your life. hi, i'm eun yang. >> and i'm aaron gilchrest. here's what you can expect tomorrow morning on "news4 today." >> tomorrow we'll be live at
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nationals park for opening day. >> we'll tell you everything you need to know to get ready for the season. plus your weather and traffic on the 1's. >> "news4 today" starts at 4:28, wake up with us and let us
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waiting until the last minute to file your taxes can be deadly. a new study shows that more people die in car crashes on tax day than any other day of the year. in fact, you have a 6% higher chance of dying next tuesday as a driver, passenger or even pedestrian. researchers say the stress of meeting the deadline for taxes leads to distracted driving. about 20% of all taxpayers wait until the last minute to file. this month is autism awareness month. researchers released several studies. we understand more than $1 billion has been spent in the last ten years on autism. today dr. joshua winer is here to help us process some of the new information we're getting and we're glad to see you.
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>> especially we've been talking a lot about autism. tell us, what have we learned? >> well, i think we're learning that this is a much more common problem than we ever really thought. the cdc just came out with new numbers that indicated one in 88 kids will be diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. this is a real change. ten years ago when i was doing my training, the number that we were learning then was about 1 in 1,000. i think the big question, what's leading to the increase in the number of kids diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorders. >> is it just that we can diagnose them now? or do you think that more children are actually autistic than ten years ago? >> right. here's what i think, i think we're more sensitive to this diagnosis. i think the public in general is more likely to seek the guidance of their pediatrician or psychiatrist or mental health professional. so that these kids are coming to the light and coming to awe wareness. so increased awareness of one. there's been a loosening of the diagnosis or the criteria to
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make the diagnosis over the years. think that's led to an increase in the numbers. and the third factor is i think because of the individuals with disabilities education act, which enables people to get services if they have a disability in the public school setting, there's an incentive for kids who are having some of these difficulties to get that label of an autistic spectrum disorder. because then they're entitled to get some expensive services through their county. things like social skills therapy, speech and language therapy or occupational therapy. i think that's a big factor as well. >> do you think there's less of a problem for parents in pointing the finger at a child, that they know has some unusual behavioral whatever you want to call them. >> quirks. >> quirks is a good word. and because maybe before when a child was a little bit quirky, the parent wouldn't want to say, hey, maybe my child has got a problem. because he wouldn't want them lumped in with kids who they thought had real serious problems.
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>> i think that's absolutely something to consider. i think parents recognize now if their child does have some of these quirks or problems, that it's important to get them checked out early. because studies are showing that there are interventions that can be taken place at a young age that are going to help the long-term prognosis for their child. so i think there's an incentive there. i think in general, the stigma associated with mental health is decreasing slowly in this country. >> what are some of the quirks that parents should look for? some that people might think are just normal, but might be a reason for them to go get some help. >> so one would be if your child makes very poor eye contact. if they show very little empathy, they're not tuned into you as a person, you bang your knee, they don't seem to care that you're crying or really upset or hurt. they have a hard time carrying on a back-and-forth conversation. they get stuck on an idea and they talk about it over and over again. they have a hard time maybe a delay in language development. they're just really stuck on routines and rituals and any change in routine or ritual can
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throw them off. these are just some of the earl will i indicators. >> a lot of these kids can be very intelligent and show those signs of intelligence in other ways, isn't that right? >> so kids, some kids with autism are severely impaired and they have mental retardation and others can have superior intelligence. it runs the spectrum. that's why it's called an autism spectrum disorder. >> we've been reporting that new research found a mother's weight may impact her child's chances of having autism. her weight during pregnancy. >> this is a study that just came out the other day in the journal "pediatrics." women who were obese, gained more than they should during pregnancy, their kids had a 60% increased risk of developing an autism spectrum disorder. but it's an association, not a cause. we can't say being obese causes it. there's just this association. there's also been an association with ssri, or antidepressant use during the first trimester of pregnancy and also an association with older parents, both mothers and fathers, who are older, 35 for a woman or
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older, or 40 for a man or older. their kids have a higher rate of developing autism. >> and do we think there's a genetic component or environment plays more of a part in this? >> it's probably roughly 50-50. they did studies with identical twins and found if one twin had autism, there's a 70% chance that the identical twin would. it's not entirely genetic. but environment plays a big role as well. >> what about vaccinations? i know in the past we thought that vaccinations or something in those vaccinations could have an effect. >> there was a concern about mercury an thimerisol, which is a preservative. i think it should be put to rest. i think there's a lot of sko conspiracy theorists who think this is a problem. unfortunately some parents are choosing not to vaccinate because of this worry. i think it's a much bigger problem. i think the mainstream medical community, including myself believes there is no causal connection between the vaccinations and mmr in particular and development of autism. >> i'm sure we'll talk about this for a long time to come as
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more studies are done and we learn more about autism. >> thanks, barbara, i appreciate it. our time right now, 11:51. a man texting has a run-in with a bear. we'll show you what happened. and first lady michelle obama gives contests on the our hit show, the biggest loser, a workout at the white house. plus
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here's another reason why it's not safe to text and walk. you might run into a 400-pound bear. that's what happened to this guy in glendale, california. a news helicopter was filming when the man was so busy texting he almost walked right into the animal. he wasn't hurt, though. the bear is nicknamed meatball, he's been on the loose for months now. wildlife officials did capture the bear, he wasn't hurt. he was released into the wild. first lady, michelle obama, is showing she's more than talk when it comes to her health
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initiative. mrs. obama sweated alongside the contests of the "the biggest loser" on last night's episode. she invited the group to the white house for their last-chance workout. she talked about her let's move campaign. and said she hopes to inspire families to exercise together for fun. >> that's what is so important for our children. if our children see us as parents doing it, they can change the whole dynamic of a young person's life. >> the first lady says everyone can find time to exercise in their busy lives. even just a few minutes a day can help. the biggest loser airs fuses at 8:00 here on news4. and let's take a look now at some of the stories we're going to be following on news4 this afternoon. a new list of the top baby names that have a hollywood flair, we'll tell you about those at 4:00. plus if you're having a hard time dealing with allergies, dr. jackie joins us with the best over-the-counter remedies. a fitness routine that let's you release stress and sweat. tonight at 5:00, we find out
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what jun shin is all about in our latest installment of "what's your workout"? and it's time for a final check on the forecast. >> i want to tell you a couple of weeks ago, before spring break, i visited the westland middle school in bethesda, montgomery county, it was career day, talked about careers in science. these are eighth graders, do you remember eighth grade? >> sure, yeah. >> how much energy there is. there was a lot of energy in the room. look at the last photo. this was -- i'm in the middle there. right before i got crushed in like a mosh pit right -- >> where are you, tom? >> about five seconds later. i see you in the middle. we do have some colder weather moving in it will be in place tomorrow morning. maybe a freeze, but we'll have a warmup for the weekend. all the latest tomorrow morning, stay tuned. >> thank you, tom. well -- ♪ the simpsons ♪ >> after 25 years, the simpsons creator, matt groening finally revealed the inspiration for the
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town where the show takes place, it's not springfield, virginia, it's springfield, oregon. he told the smithsonian magazine he was inspired by the tv show, "father knows best" which also took place in springfield. and groening said he chose the name because springfield is one of the most common names for a city in this entire country. well that's "news4 midday." we thank you for being with us and invite you to tune in as 4:00, 5:00, 6:00 and 11:00 and we'll be back tomorrow morning with "news4 midday." until then have a terrific day, we'll see you in the morning. [ male announcer ] are you paying more and more for cable and enjoying it less and less? stop paying for second best. upgrade to verizon fios and get tv, internet and phone for just $89.99 a month guaranteed for two years with a two-year agreement. act now and we'll add a special bonus: $250 back. but hurry, this offer ends april 21st.
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